NBA daily fantasy picks: Five players who could help your lineup for Jan. 5
The early-week rhythm has become familiar at this point of the season. Typically, a light Tuesday follows a busy Monday, and that’s exactly what we have this week. After 10 games on Monday to start the week, there are just four on Tuesday. Your lineup-construction options are thus limited, though it is possible to fit in three of the top-seven salaries without sacrificing too much on the backend of your roster. That is exactly what we have done here.
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PG: Stephen Curry ($10,700) @ LAL: In his first true game back from a shin injury, Curry had 30 real points and 41.6 fantasy points in a win over the Hornets Monday. There is some concern about him on the second leg of a back-to-back, but not enough to stay away from him with this great matchup. The Lakers have allowed the most points per game to point guards this season.
SG: Jimmy Butler ($8,300) vs. MIL: Butler is coming off a performance in which he wrested a Chicago franchise record from Michael Jordan. That’s never a bad day. Butler poured in 40 points in the second half of the Bulls’ win over the Raptors on Sunday, setting a team record for most points in a half. In three games without Derrick Rose, Butler has averaged 31 points and 46.3 fantasy points. There is a chance Rose returns Tuesday, but there’s no doubting who this team is centered around now.
SF: Carmelo Anthony ($8,600) @ ATL: Anthony is on one of his better runs of the season, averaging 37.3 fantasy points across his last nine games. More importantly, however, he is far and away the best option at the small forward position on Tuesday’s slate. You’ll need to find some value at small forward, but when the next best choices are Rudy Gay, Khris Middleton and Harrison Barnes (assuming Omri Casspi is out), it’s clear you put yourself at a disadvantage by fading Anthony.
PF: Taj Gibson ($5,000) vs. MIL: Joakim Noah has missed the last six games because of a shoulder injury. In that time, Gibson has averaged 32.7 minutes and 25.9 fantasy points per game. You’ll be happy with him giving you 26 fantasy points, but this should be a game in which he thrives. Milwaukee ranks 27th in overall rebounding rate and dead last in defensive rebounding rate. That’s the sort of opponent Gibson usually exploits.
C: Zaza Pachulia ($6,600) vs. SAC: Over his last five games, Pachulia is averaging 33.1 fantasy points. The Kings have surrendered the sixth-most fantasy points per game to centers this season, and the over/under on this game is 212.5, with the Mavericks favored by 5.5. All of that points to Pachulia being one of Tuesday’s best bargains, checking in at just $6,600.